Dr Jay Anam

Surgical Oncologist
DNB General Surgery, M.Ch

Cancer Blog | 2 Nov 2021, Monday

Tips for Choosing the Right Oncosurgeon in Mumbai

A diagnosis of cancer can turn your world upside down. But after the initial shock and disbelief, the faster you come to terms with the reality, the faster you can start taking proactive steps to wage a battle against cancer.

Different cancers require different types of treatments, like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of two or more of the above interventions.

In this article we are focusing primarily on choosing an oncosurgeon, (if you have been advised surgery) since getting operated on is always a scary thought and choosing a surgeon is the hardest part. Unless you have full faith and confidence in the competence and credibility of your oncosurgeon, you will always have second thoughts. So choose wisely.

Let us try and understand how we can make this choice, a well-informed and well-researched one:


In most cases, it would be your family doctor or physician who has referred you to an Oncosurgeon most suitable to your particular disease.

They would also be the ones who would be closely involved with you and the operating doctor throughout your treatment. So your best bet would be to consult with the specialist, they have referred to.


Whatever your stage of cancer, there is always time for a second opinion. A second opinion is important as it helps you to compare views and recommendations of different doctors, techniques of surgery, cost of treatment, etc. It helps you make a more informed decision.


It wouldn’t hurt to do some background research about the doctor you have been referred to on your own. This research should typically be focussed on:

  • The credentials of the oncosurgeon. What is his/her degree? Is it from a reputed institution and/or national or state board? Have they done any specialization in the field of oncosurgery?

  • Do they focus on any specific organ or do they perform multi-organ surgeries?

  • Are there any advanced techniques which they are skilled in such as robotic surgery, minimally invasive surgery, or any technique which they have patented or pioneered in?

  • Have they received any special training in treating your specific type of cancer?

  • What is their ability to handle complicated cases as well as what is the percentage of complications expected and encountered by them specific to your type of cancer?

Most of this information can be found on the website of the doctor (if he has one).  But in case you don’t find answers to any of the questions mentioned above, you can always ask them to the doctor, without being embarrassed about it. It is your right to know.


A doctor who has more experience in operating on a certain type or type of cancer also has more experience in dealing with complicated cases and a higher probability of giving better results.


Read articles and research papers published by the doctor in reputed medical journals on websites such as Pubmed. You can also find them on the website of most doctors. They reflect upon the credibility and expertise of the doctor.


An important component of any doctor-patient relationship is “the comfort level.” You should feel comfortable discussing all your doubts and questions with the doctor without the feeling that the doctor is not interested in hearing your point of view.

In fact, a doctor who has a pleasing personality, welcomes you with a smile, explains the whole process in detail, and answers all your questions patiently, will allay most of your fears and doubts.


A Cancer surgery is not a walk-in, walk-out procedure. The entire process may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. So, many other factors should be taken into consideration while selecting an oncosurgeon:

  • Is he/she going to operate in a multispeciality hospital with state-of-the-art, latest equipment, and a large ICU setup with round-the-clock monitoring?

  • What are the types of accommodation facilities at the hospital for you and your attendant, relative, or friend?

  • Does he/she have a team of doctors who can handle other related aspects of the disease such as your medicine or surgical side effects like pain, nausea, vomiting, infections, etc?

  • Does he/she have a team of support staff that can assist with your pre-and post-operative follow-ups and care?


Reading testimonials of other patients who have been treated by the doctor of your choice is the best way to judge the competence of your doctor. You should be able to find patient testimonials at your oncosurgeon’s office either in written form or as a video.

Alternatively you can ask for contact number of patients who are willing to share their story. You can also read reviews on social media and the internet, but beware, along with genuine reviews, there are a lot of negative comments posted by people with malafide interests. Use your better judgement.


It is always a good idea to learn more about your disease, the kind of treatment options available, the latest developments, and research in the field. It helps you frame your questions more accurately for your doctor. But don’t believe all that you read on the internet. It can be quite misleading many times.

If you feel a piece of information is relevant to your case, discuss it with your doctor. He will help clear all your doubts.

Remember, a good oncosurgeon can increase your chances of getting cured to a great extent. So please take the effort to do your homework well, before finalizing your oncosurgeon.